Massive Indoor Water Park near Branson Strip
A 1,000-gallon bucket of water atop a three-level treehouse dumps a gush of water on the swimmers gathered below every eight minutes at Splash Country, the indoor water park at Grand Country Inn. Meanwhile, a 250-foot lazy river meanders through a simulated Ozark riverbank, and two tube slides twist and wind around the interactive treehouse. The 20,000-square-foot park is practically its own ecosystem, and it’s the centerpiece of the many family-friendly activities at the sprawling hotel, which hosts a theme park’s worth of games and entertainment. At the hotel's Fun Spot, you can putt around in bumper cars, practice putts on a 3-D black-light mini-golf course, and slink through a laser maze. The entertainment emporium also touts a two-story, 3,000-square-foot laser tag arena, mini bowling, arcade games, and a multilevel play area filled with thousands of soft foam balls.
Once families are tuckered out, they can enjoy a quiet night’s rest on a king-size bed and pullout couch or two queen-size beds. At the Grand Country Buffet, meanwhile, you can load up plates with everything from eggs and bacon at breakfast to slow-roasted ham, fresh-baked breads, and desserts at suppertime. The onsite Papa Grand's pizzeria comprises a full salad bar and a pizza bar with 12 varieties, including three dessert pizzas.
Branson, Missouri: Theme Parks and Music Halls in the Heart of the Ozarks
Grand Country Inn resides in the Theatre District of Branson, a city that glitters and gleams in the heart of the Ozark plateau like a smaller, G-rated version of Las Vegas. This year marks the 100-year anniversary of Branson's official incorporation as a town, when it first began laying its foundation as a resort destination. Today, Branson attracts millions of visitors with more than 40 stages and a rotating roster of shows, ranging from hillbilly comedies to circus acrobatics to magic shows.
Guests at the Grand Country Inn can settle into their seats in the Grand Country Music Hall—located a few steps away from the resort—to watch the kid-friendly The Amazing Pets Show, in which trained dogs and cats perform stunts and exotic birds make a fly-by appearance. Musicians at the Grand Jubilee perform a wide range of crowd-pleasing tunes; one quartet croons everything from the Oak Ridge Boys to The Eagles to Yo-Yo Ma’s voicemail message.
For a departure from Branson's bustling strip, the Ozarks are a scenic natural escape rife with snaking rivers, lush forests, and limestone cliffs. Table Rock State Park, with its serene lake as a centerpiece, resides about 15 minutes south of the inn. It’s a prime example of the native terrain and a fine destination for hiking, mountain biking, boating, or fishing.